Skin Tag Removal: How Long To Heal

Are you considering getting your skin tags removed but wondering about the skin tag removal and how long it takes to heal it? With the right aftercare, skin tag removal sites can heal relatively quickly, within 1-2 weeks.

Getting skin tags removed is a common cosmetic procedure. While usually harmless, these small, soft growths can become irritated by jewellery or clothing and may bleed or become infected. Their appearance may also cause self-consciousness about your appearance. Fortunately, skin tag removal is a simple outpatient procedure.

How Skin Tags are Removed

There are a few methods your dermatologist may use to remove skin tags, showcasing the different techniques of removing skin tags.

Freezing

Liquid nitrogen is applied to “freeze off” the tag. The dead tissue then sheds within 1-2 weeks. This is effective for small tags with thin stalks.

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Burning

An electric current or chemical solution burns through the tag stalk. A scab forms and drops off, allowing new skin to form.

Cutting

Your doctor may snip off the tag with sterile scissors or a scalpel. Bleeding is minimal.

Tying Off

A piece of clean, thin thread is tightly tied around the tag’s base. The lack of blood flow causes the tag to fall off within a few days.

What to Expect During Skin Tag Removal Healing

Healing times vary slightly depending on the removal technique:

  • Freezing: The site crusts over and sheds within 7-10 days.
  • Burning: A scab falls off within 10-14 days.
  • Cutting: The wound fully closes with new skin in 7-10 days.
  • Tying Off: The tag drops off in 3-5 days, and the site heals in 7-10 days.

Here’s a more detailed overview of the skin tag removal healing timeline:

Days 1- 3

Expect to see a small, open wound or scab where the skin tag was removed.

  • Applying antibiotic ointment and bandages helps protect the site.
  • Swelling, redness, and discomfort are common. Over-the-counter pain medication can help relieve this.

Days 4 – 7

In this phase, a scab typically forms over the wound and protects new skin growing underneath.

  • Scabbing and redness reach their peak around day 5 before starting to improve.
  • Keep the area clean and moisturised with petroleum jelly to prevent scab cracking.

Days 8 – 14

During this time span, the outer scab falls off, exposing fresh pink skin, and swelling goes down.

  • Apply sunscreen if going outdoors, as the new skin is highly vulnerable to sun damage.
  • Do not scratch or pick at scabs during the healing process! This can lead to scarring.

Weeks 2 – 3

At this point, you should see complete outer skin closure, with likely no remaining evidence a skin tag existed.

  • Infection risk is minimal by now.
  • Use scar creams containing vitamin E, silicone gels, etc, to minimise any lingering redness, irritation or scar tissue.

Aftercare Tips to Promote Healing

  • Gently cleanse removal sites daily, then apply antibiotic ointment.
  • Use petroleum jelly and keep it covered with a bandage until the scabbing falls off.
  • Take over-the-counter pain relievers as needed for discomfort.
  • Avoid irritating scabs through scratching or rubbing on clothing.
  • Wear loose clothing around affected areas if possible.
  • Apply sun protection diligently if going outside.

Are There Risks With Skin Tag Removal Healing?

While skin tag treatment complications are rare in healthy individuals, be aware of these possibilities:

Risk FactorDescriptionPrevention/Management
InfectionPossible if the wound is not properly cared for.Keep the area clean and follow aftercare instructions.
ScarringThis can occur, especially if the skin tag is large or removed improperly.Use scar-reduction treatments and avoid picking at the site.
Pigmentation ChangesHealing may leave lighter or darker skin, particularly in darker skin tones.Limit sun exposure and use sunscreen in the area.
BleedingMinor bleeding is common; excessive bleeding can occur rarely.Apply pressure and seek medical attention if bleeding is severe.
Allergic Reaction to TreatmentReactions to topical treatments or adhesives used in aftercare.Use hypoallergenic products and inform the doctor of any known allergies.
Pain or DiscomfortCommon immediately after removal, usually mild.Over-the-counter pain relief or cold compresses can be used.
RecurrenceSkin tags can recur in the same area.Monitor the area and consult a doctor if new growths appear.

See your doctor promptly if you have symptoms like spreading redness, pus, foul odour, fever, or excessive bleeding from the removal site. These may indicate infection requiring medical treatment.

In summary, when addressing ‘Skin Tag Removal How Long To Heal’, it’s important to note that healing time varies depending on the removal method and individual healing processes. Typically, recovery is quick, but proper aftercare is essential to ensure smooth and effective healing without complications.

To explore your skin tag removal options with an expert, book a consultation with Dr Shehzadi Tasneem Sultan, the best Plastic Surgeon in Dubai. With advanced training in aesthetics and reconstruction, Dr Sultan provides personalised treatment tailored just for you.

FAQs About Skin Tag Removal Healing Time

Keep removal sites bandaged for the first 3 days, then go without bandages once scabbing is well established, usually around day 4 or 5.

Cover with gauze if clothing frequently rubs over healing skin tags.

Yes, gently cleanse with mild soap and pat dry. Avoid prolonged soaking for 2 weeks until scabs naturally fall off. Cover with waterproof bandages if needed.

Apply silicone-based scar sheets, creams containing vitamin E, aloe vera gel, or over-the-counter scar-diminishing products starting a month after treatment. Sun protection also prevents dark spots.

Natural healers like vitamin E oil, tea tree oil, coconut oil and aloe vera may encourage healing. But always check with your dermatologist before applying anything to treatment sites.

Avoid swimming pools, hot tubs, etc., until 2 weeks post-treatment when the risk of infection is lower. After this, baths/quick swims should not delay healing as long as you gently pat dry wounds and apply antibiotic cream afterwards. Check with your practitioner for specific advice.